Tuesday, September 29, 2009

that's what he said

B: Excuse me. I tooted a lot.
A: You tooted a lot?!
B: I am a tootin' rootin' machine.

B: And we can call Grammie Gee, and she can say, "I love Blake so much. Maybe I will buy him some candy because that would be a fun surprise and I love him." And then she will. And then she will visit us and I will hug her and she will tell me that she bought me candy because she loves me so much.

But she's not a present machine.

B: You can call me silly now cuz I don't want to be normal.

I was just kidding on being normal.

I was just kidding on ya.

M: (to me, while discussing cleaning products) What do you wash with vinegar?
B: (immediately stops playing to tell her, in complete seriousness) My mouf.

B: I like when you and Dad hug. Because it means you love each udder!

B: (while watching Goonies for the first time) Hey, Dad! This looks just like Pirates of the Carrot-Bein'!

B: Can I wear my glasses outside in the snow?
A: You bet! You want to see out there too, right?

only two things are certain in life

I think it's even more great that you and your dad do that together. Cherish the time you spend with your parents, as there will someday come a time when it will just be a memory, Addie.

A friend just wrote me this in response to me telling him about going antelope hunting with my dad. While I shudder away from the implications of such a sobering thought (and really, few do well with reminders of mortality), I appreciate the urgency it gives me to enjoy those I love as much as I can. The man who wrote this is well into his sixties, and I imagine he speaks as one with experience.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

once again, God makes a mockery of coincidences


I am sorry - I will try to avoid yelling this whole post, BUT I MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO HELP IT! Lane and Bing won a house. A $400,000 donated house, raffled off by the St. Jude's Children's Hospital. They bought three of the hundred-dollar tickets, and they won. I am just gob-smacked.

Last night's Bing-efit was a resounding success, and we were all quite literally floating on the high of hundreds of folks chipping in to chip away at the overwhelming odds faced by the Perrine family. And then, on live television this afternoon, Lane's name was drawn from the raffle. They have toured the (very!) nice house that is so green, they are EARNING MONEY from the utility company, or at least have a negative balance. They've been interviewed by a local news station and both were able to testify to God's faithfulness. The interview and tour will air at the 10:00 pm Billings news. Once the interview is posted to Q2's website, I'll link to it.

In all my prayers for a blanket "provision" for my dear family, I never imagined God would work it out like this. As of right now, they don't have near enough furniture for it and are planning to host the family Thanksgiving dinner. And they are at a party with the St. Jude's folks and the builders and the other generous folks who made this happen - and the believers of the group all have goosebumps at how interconnected and unbelievable the circumstances are.

HOLY MOLY, GOD! You are weird and so so good. Praise you, Jesus!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

t and i agreed that we never ever exaggerate

We're in Billings for the Bing-efit! Come out and play tonight, if you cool enough to be in town and not in Dallas (MOLLY) or on the way back from Kenya (KELLIE).

Dad grilled New York strip last night, which makes me wonder why we do not spend more Friday nights here. Rob had to stay behind, which is sad (he is most sad over the steak, I think), because he's got to work today. He's now lead in-town driver and training the new guy. Woohoo! He also knows how to fix the dryer vent that's been disconnected for months now. WOOHOO!

The amount of lint blown clear - due to the newly connected dryer vent - that promptly lodged in our outside lint trap for me to pluck free triggered my gag reflex.

I had a bad attitude about packing, so we got out the door much later than intended. The worst part about packing is knowing that you're just going to have to unpack it all again very soon, so why bother? There was a mini-catastrophe on the way out when we realized that Blake's case of DVDs and CDs was missing. Still cannot find it, and few things drive me NUTTY INSANE more than misplacing something I should know where it is (see previous post about 30 Rock DVD and ask how I feel about being unable to locate my second garage door opener). It's one of the side effects of being slightly uptight and anal retentive.

Despite new cell towers sprinkled along the stretch of I-90 from Bozeman to Billings, I lost cell service twice. Granted, this is a vast improvement over the swathes of "no service" from a scant year or two ago, but I find it especially irritating to have calls dropped when I am within throwing distance of a tower. Sure, it's probably not owned by my carrier, but the least they could do if the carriers can't share is hide the tower behind an abnormally large pine tree or in a valley or under a bridge or in a grain silo.

I took my contacts out last night before I realized that I had neglected to pack my glasses and still needed to hit the grocery store. I thought I'd just rinse the acid that takes six hours to neutralize from the lenses, pop 'em back in, and hit the road. Instead, I near blinded myself in one eye. The cleaning fluid (ACID) doesn't rinse so easily, and my eye exploded in a spasm of pain and tears, instantly relocating all makeup from my eye to my cheek and puffing to the point that I almost needed a crowbar in order to scratch the offending acid-coated lens off my retina.

Then I drove around Billings at night while talking on my cell phone, drinking single malt Scotch, and searching under my seat for a new CD. I probably texted a few times and put my makeup back on too.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

summers: bake until golden, enjoy immediately, part 2

Some of the better photographic evidence of Blake's amblyopia (don't you dare call it lazy eye - either to annoy me or him - he will firmly correct you that his eye is NOT lazy). Within two weeks of seeing this, we were in the optometrist's chair.

Some of what the solution looks like! Blake now wears glasses (and if you look closely, you'll be able to tell from what sickening Disney franchise, also yes, he wears that shirt A LOT, thanks MOM). We also patch his left eye three times a day for twenty minutes while we read, do a puzzle, play a game, etc. The goal is to train his right eye to correctly see things at close range. When told of his amblyopia, Mom guessed that it must have come from the Morstads, since it clearly wasn't from our side of the family. She then spoke to Dad that night, who said with surprise, "Oh - I had that!" Surprise!

The results of giving away a living room couch and table set on Craigslist. This wiry man, no taller than me, managed to get ALL OF IT in the back of his little truck for he and his daughter to use. They were so sweet I wanted to give them the house too. He was like Superman, and I wish Blake could have seen it.

It was really something. He laughed that I must think him desperate to take pictures, and I assured him I was thrilled it was going to folks who so badly needed it, and the photos were because I was also so impressed.

Another double rainbow (you'll have to trust me) appeared as Terra and I left the Spokane house for the last time. She made me promise before we got there that I wouldn't dream up other improvements - that we'd get it to a point where I was okay walking away and trusting God for it to sell. We painted, cleaned, touched up, and I walked away under a double rainbow that I interpreted as God's promise to sell the house soon. Terra said something about a flood and blah blah blah.

Tomatoes! I grew these! And then we ate them. NOM NOM NOM. Even Blake likes a cherry tomato fresh from the vine.

My smoking hottie on the trail to the "M." That trail does NOT get any easier, unfortunately. We agreed that we are a leetle out of shape. Also, some turkeys vandalized the formerly pristine white "M." I hate when people act like asshats.

Monday, September 21, 2009

as seen on aubyn's heavy head

You Will Come To This

The Montana Brewing Co. is hosting Bing's Benefit. I know you will come and support this great idea! There will be food and drinks, music, a silent auction and a bachelor auction. But mostly I bet you are most excited about helping out my cousin [sister] and her family!!

I want to let you know how important this is to me. I love these guys and this is a chance for us to really do something. When Bing collapsed recently, we all asked, "What can we do? How can I help?" At the time, there wasn't much for us to do. But now we get the chance to follow up on our offers of support!

I know that my friends and family (and maybe to occasional blog creeper) are do-ers. We see a problem and attack it. Well, here is a problem. Let's do the damn thing. Let's get this done!

I stole this from Aubyn because she has good words. And, well, because this is important to me too. I'll be there, possibly only very briefly, but the chance to love on another and bind up his wounds is too precious to pass up.

If you are not in Billings, but wish to help, please contact me (comments or email), and I can get you pointed in the right direction.

summers: bake until golden, enjoy immediately

B (pitched very high): Hi, I'm Junior Asparagus!
A: It's okay to eat vegetables that don't talk, Mr. Veggie-Tales.

I know it's a lousy picture, but there's a house in Billings that has an ENORMOUS suit of armor strapped to its front. And it's just, well, too crazy not to share.

The ladies who lunch have babies. I got to meet a bunch of women (mother, aunt, sister, cousin) for lunch during a weekend in Billings. Blake snuggled up to me as I got proof Maddox and I have been in the same place at the same time. You know... other than when he entered the world.

Doesn't Superman wash YOUR windows intensely?

The height of irony. Me, the editor, whipped up this gem for my boss, who is aptly described on the shirt. Not surprisingly, Ryan hasn't yet worn it.

The pole dancer. We're so proud - he's going to put himself through college!

It's been the summer of double rainbows. This beauty appeared during the Myers family "camping" weekend at a cabin on the Stillwater.

One of a scant handful of photos of our weekend in Missoula. The Myers girls ditched husbands and sons and ran to Missoula for a free-spirited, hippy-dippy of a time where we burned incense and made tie-die dresses to wear at the farmer's market. Reality: Lane had shingles, Reese was stuffed up with prego nose, and I was as self-absorbed as usual. Mom did fine with us, proving her mettle. The thinking at the time was that we had no idea when we'd be able to do such a thing again, as Reese was due to pop within the month and by the time her kids were growed up enough to leave with Matt again...

Lane or I would be pregnant or have new babies of our own (both tests were negative, which is the currently desired outcome).

Smith (left) and Mason (right) both happy and jammied up as they clap eyes on their Momma again.

Soybean, who arrived a mere WEEK after our Missoula trip. Um, yeah, he was a little early, and we had impeccable timing for our fun in the 'Zoo!

Sweet Noahster, who took one look at me and wanted to be held. I will take it as proof of his good taste, though Hannah assures me it's hard to keep him out of friendly-but-strange arms at the supermarket. He goes cheerfully to anyone! I then dipped him in BBQ and gobbled him up.

Hamming it up before the talent show put on by the preschool he attends. The pretty blonde in front is his dear friend, Ellese.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

the rock star scuba diver

From some time this summer at my folks' house. He still loves that song.

I was getting ready for... something... when I saw this happen in the mirror behind me. Blake graciously repeated the performance for the camera.

Finally, I thought it would be fun to play with the color of B's increasingly long mohawk. He agreed and chose blue...

and I learned that I'll need to use gloves next time (photo courtesy Blake).

Friday, September 18, 2009

that's what he said

A: I'm gonna miss you something fierce when you go to Grammie Gee's.
B: Well, don't worry, cuz I will come back.
A: Oh, thank you.

B: Aww, Mom, you're cute.
A: YOU'RE cute!
B: That's not what you're supposed to say! You're supposed to say "Thank you."
A: Oh. Thank you.
B: You're welcome.
A: You're funny.
B: I AM funny cuz I'm Hammy!

R: I've played that before and didn't like it.
A: Well, maybe with a beer and a different group of people, it'll be more fun.
R: I bet that applies to a lot of things.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

disciplining douchebag

I am glad you wrote the IPR article and that you guys posted the nicely edited and silkily narrated video too. Why? Because it reminded me that I had a dream a few weeks ago about the IPR course we attended in June. It was not so remarkable. It basically mirrored our shared experience, except for one thing: you kept calling people "douchebag," especially Skurka, who, in my dream, referred to your discipler as your "discipliner." I seriously laugh every time I think about it (my revised version is quickly supplanting the actual version in my mind).

I got this in an email from one of our companions in the Introduction to Packrafting class. It keeps making me laugh too, mostly because it sounds like it could be true.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

the trick is being behind the camera - it's less scary

Though I publish a blog regularly, in my mind, this is more "self-indulgent navel-gazing" than it is real live publishing. Self-publishing is kind of like that... indulgent.

Well, to my intense trepidation, I have written something for public offering that has been published by my magazine, Backpacking Light. Rob took care of the video part, and it went live yesterday.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

my derring-do and feats of valor


mold just always sounds gross to me

Snippets of my day:

I found the DVD I was missing. Disc 1 of Season 2 of 30 Rock went AWOL at some unknown point, and I couldn't find it for the life of me, which drives me nutty insane. I hate not knowing where things are, especially when they should be in very specific places. Then I remembered that Rob had to send in his Blu-Ray player for repair work, which required my old DVD player to make an appearance in the house. Rob was not very happy about this - sulky even - but we had to have SOMETHING to while away the time. Blake's not going to rot out his brain without help. Voila! Upon plugging in said DVD player and pressing a button, my disc magically appeared and found its way back into the nice and clean cardboard and plastic holder that it calls home. Poor thing was probably scared and lonely out there in the garage.

I worked out today and am giving myself a pedicure tonight.

I have organized the genre of all my iTunes songs. I didn't realize this was something you could be OCD about until Rob was horrified by my lack of genre codifying. He's admitted to be a TEENSY bit uptight about genre, and I was so excited to find one of HIS hang-ups that I got on board. He is less excited about my hang-ups, but I might have one or two more than him.

Hurray for homegrown tomatoes! And basil! In a homemade quiche! I'd like to claim that I made the cheese and laid the eggs myself too, but that might be pushing it.

Crustless Tomato-Basil Quiche
*** Note ***
If you do not have a DeMarle cake mold and perforated baking sheet, you'll need a crust or a very well oiled pie pan.
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (your choice - I used Colby Jack)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes or halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes, reserved for garnish
  • 3 stems fresh basil
Wisk eggs until well beaten. Stir in cornstarch, milk, cottage cheese, and shredded cheese; salt and pepper to taste. Add non-garnish tomatoes to mixture. Reserve 10 whole basil leaves and snip remaining basil into mixture.

Place cake mold (I have a round one) onto perforated baking sheet and pour mixture into mold. Bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes or until edges turn golden brown. Unmold onto platter and garnish with remaining cup of tomatoes and whole basil leaves.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I have receipts that predate me meeting the man who is now my husband.

Scratch that: earlier today, I had receipts that predated me meeting the man who is now my husband. Now I have mulch.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

pulling out the big guns

I nominated my friend's Italian market in the "Shine a Light" contest... if she wins, she gets $100,000 in marketing money to help make it through a crappy business year. If she wins, I get $3,000 for nominating her.
Update: she got what she needed. Thanks anyone/everyone!

Monday, September 7, 2009

that's what they said

B: Know what? All of us are soldiers!
A: What are we soldiers in?
B: We're a soldier family.

T: (on I-90 East this morning) Look, this is my favorite part about Missoula.
A: What?
T: Leaving it.

T: I hate you. I mean, I've always hated you, but now I'm saying it out loud.

(My offense? Getting Cheap Trick's I Want You to Want Me stuck in her head without her realizing it.)

B: I need a Dr. Dew... I mean, I Dr. Pepper so I can be Hammy the squirrel. You can be Stella the skunk.
A: Hey! Why do I have to be stinky?!
B: No, Stella's a girl! She's beautiful. She gets a haircut.

A: Wait, am I a gril or a boy?
B: Mom, it's not "gril." It's "girl" or "gal." Those mean the same thing.
B: Grammie.
A: Well, I am calling my mother.
B: Why?
A: She's in trouble for correcting you. "Gril" was cute.
B: But I just want to say the right things!

(And I have photos and stories about T's and my time in Spokane together, including one without an ending as yet about the girl we saw on the side of the highway last night, in the middle of nowhere, at 10:30 pm. But I have to shower and go to bed because I work tomorrow and then must drive B to the border to leave him there. With Grammie Gee, sure, but essentially, I have overextended myself and I am quite close to a mental break that involves crying just so I can start over. Stories and photos can wait.)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

wading through fifty-three responses, only one of which wanted to see me naked

My recent Craigslist post:

FREE Living room set: couch, love seat, chair
FREE Living room tables: two end tables, coffee table

These are all sturdy, look great together and would work really well for college or man land. My husband loves me enough to let me give them away, but he is still sad to see them go. Please be able to pick up by Labor Day.

I may be able to text photos depending on how amazing I feel and how nicely you ask.

Note for the future: DO NOT make a blanket offer to text photos on Craigslist. Live and learn, people.

Friday, September 4, 2009

also dangerous: weeding... sometimes those roots come out unexpectedly fast

In trying to give the Spokane house a little more curb appeal, Terra and I arrived this morning and decided to weed and sweep the driveway.

All the dust that didn't make it into the dumpster has taken up residence in our noses. I am thisclose to taking a picture of the Kleenex to show you because it's kind of awe-inspiring, if you like being awed in a really really gross way.

Also, upon pulling off the freeway, I remembered that I do not have a key to the place with me. I called our excellent realtor, Hal, to see if he could meet us there at the drop of a hat, and while he couldn't, he did mention a window that wasn't locked in the back and that I was pretty skinny...

Terra is a whip-fast photographer. She now has a shot of my legs poking up at odd angles from a window that's pretty far above the ground. I had to wiggle in head first and walk my hands along the floor to get the rest of me inside. She almost died laughing while I just almost died. Hand walking is VERY dangerous, I'll have you know.